Company Spotlight: New Machinery at Merit Steel

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment. Today we’re pleased to spotlight Merit Steel, part of L&P’s drawn wire division in Kouts, Indiana.

Large machines steadily churn out spools of drawn wire at Merit Steel Company. Over 100 employees work together to ensure its production runs smoothly. The majority of the wire is then shipped to other L&P facilities to be transformed into bedding and furniture components.

“Everyone here is willing to lend a helping hand. I don’t think anyone is just looking out for themselves. It’s pretty evident in day-to-day operations,” says Jon Moneta, Continuous Improvement Coordinator at Merit.

One of Jon’s priorities is ensuring the safety of his teams. That responsibility became easier with a recent upgrade to one of their wire drawing machines.

Merit Steel’s new Frigerio wire drawing machine.

An older wire drawing machine, installed in 1979 when Nachman Corporation owned the mill. This type of machine was ultimately replaced by the new Frigerio machine.

The new Frigerio wire drawing machine is operated externally. “If the wire breaks in the new machine, it’s fully enclosed so there’s no chance of an injury occurring,” says Jon.

In addition to providing a safer work environment, the upgrade has improved cooling, increased machine speeds, and produces a smaller diameter wire. The new gauge better aligns with current demand in the wire industry.

“Our goal with the upgrade was to adapt and adjust to business conditions,” says Jon. “The new machine is better in every way — for our business and for our employees.”

Another view of the new Frigerio wire drawing machine.

Another view of an older wire drawing machine.